The delay in lifting paddy by millers has been creating problems not only for farmers but also for the authorities. The millers are giving excuses and making farmers wait.
“The government had issued guidelines for procurement of paddy at MSP during the Yasangi season in 2021-22. It is the policy of the government to purchase the entire paddy from farmers based on specifications. But, paddy has to be unloaded by millers as per capacity and deliver rice to Civil Supplies or Food Corporation of India (FCI). The millers concerned are not unloading paddy from procurement centres which is causing much inconvenience to the administration,” the May 20 order by Medak Additional Collector Ramesh reads.
“As per the daily report, raw and boiled rice are not being unloaded as per the milling capacity fixed by the government. The proprietor hereby asked them to show the reasons for not cooperating with the government by engaging limited hamalis and directed to submit their explanation within three days,” the order adds.
Notices were issued to as many as 34 rice millers, among whom only three are boiled rice millers and remaining raw rice millers. He had warned of action against them including seizing of mills and blacklisting them. Out of 154 rice mills in the district, these 34 mills were yet to start lifting paddy.
But, this is just tip of the iceberg. According to sources, as lorries are not coming from mills to the procurement centres, farmers are being forced to hire their own vehicles and transport their produce. Also, in some places, farmers are forced to dry their wet produce as paddy got soaked in rain water. This is taking additional time and delaying payments as the process will commence only after rice reaches the mills.
Taking advantage of the farmers, transporters are demanding ₹5 per bag. “I have six acres. But, I had limited myself to only two acres of paddy cultivation as the government said that it would not procure. I had harvested 60 bags. About a week ago, my harvest was lifted. I had paid ₹1,000 to the hamalis to lift my paddy,” Prabhakar, a farmer from Medak, told The Hindu.